(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Senior garrison leaders here hosted the November Community Information Forum virtually via the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook page Nov. 3. The monthly forum is designed to be an information exchange and dialogue between the garrison and the community on a range of topics and interests to improve quality of life for service members, families, civilians and retirees, said Katy Carter, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation business and recreation chief, who acted as master of ceremonies this month.

With the theme being snow and ice removal, or SNAIR, much of the information centered on safety, said Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, in his opening remarks.

“Fall is here, winter is coming, and we need to be prepared,” he said. “From the garrison perspective, our goal is to support the training mission that we have here. We need to make sure we can do it safely and in a way that protects the entire community.”

Emergency Operations Center

In line with the theme this month, Emergency Management Specialist Troy Carney spoke on how Fort Leonard Wood responds to severe weather and where drivers can go for the latest information on road conditions, on and off post.

Carney pointed out the Fort Leonard Wood Current Weather page, which is updated at 4 a.m. every day year-round and as weather conditions change.

“On that web page, drivers can access facility closures, current road conditions, status of primary parking lots and more,” he said.

The Wood Line is also updated daily at 4 a.m. and as weather conditions change, Carney said, and the recorded message can be heard by calling 573.563.4141. However, this line can get easily inundated with incoming calls and at times will not allow Watch Office personnel to update the message.

Carney said Fort Leonard Wood’s official social media sites are a good place to find weather-related information. The installation’s official Facebook — www.facebook.com/fortleonardwoodmissouri — and Twitter — @fortleonardwood — pages are typically updated quickly.

Commuters can also get weather information on their smartphone through the Digital Garrison app, available for free in the Google Play or Apple App Store. Common Access Cardholders, their family members, long-term contractors, private organizations and tenants on the installation can also receive notifications on their phones via the ALERT! Mass Warning Notification System — visit the garrison weather web page to sign up.

For anyone commuting to work from off post, Carney recommended they use the Missouri Department of Transportation website to plan a safe route.

Carney asked the Fort Leonard Wood community to remember that it’s very important that every driver pay attention and adhere to closure or delay announcements.

“If you’re given two hours, take the two hours and let the guys get to all the parking lots and primary roads they can,” he said.

Safety Office

John Lackey, a safety and occupational health specialist with the Garrison Safety Office, spoke on the importance of planning and avoiding unnecessary travel during severe weather.

“When it comes to Missouri weather, you just don’t know,” he said. “You never know what you’re going to get, so you have to plan and be prepared.”

Lackey asked drivers to be respectful of snow plow vehicles.

“We can help by giving them the proper distance and not trying to pass them,” he said.

Other advice Lackey offered was:

  • Slow down and allow for a little extra time when traveling in winter.
  • Reaction times and stopping times are affected by road conditions.
  • Build home and auto emergency kits (Click here for more information on what to include in each).
GLWACH

While the safety of the community, the patients and the staff is priority, emergency care at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital remains open 24/7 during a weather event on the installation, said Col. Aaron Pitney, GLWACH commander.

Pitney added that outpatient clinic appointments during weather closures will be rescheduled, virtually supported or otherwise worked into the schedule, if possible. In delayed starts, routine clinic or service openings will be delayed by the specified timeframe, but appointments at or after the revised start time will be honored. If an early closure effects appointments, the affected patients will be called to resolve their situations virtually or have their appointments re-scheduled — this includes scheduled routine or elective surgeries.

Visit the GLWACH Facebook page for the latest information on the hospital here.

FMWR

Carter asked that parents pick up their children from Child Youth Services programs as staggered early releases occur.

“It is critically important that we can get our caregivers home as well,” she said.

For delayed starts, CYS facilities will open at 8 a.m., Carter said, but they close when Fort Leonard Wood operations are curtailed.

Fitness centers will also open at 8 a.m. on delayed start days, and Carter asked that when early releases are announced, patrons should also follow the same guidance, so workers can get home safely as well.

“We empathize with what you are doing to try to maintain your physical fitness, but we do often get a surge at that delayed release when we are trying to get people home,” she said.

All other FMWR facilities will remain open or close on a case-by-case basis, and Carter asked patrons to check the FMWR Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

Carter mentioned a few upcoming events as well:

  • Thanksgiving in a box for up to 20 people includes turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables and pie, starting at $35. Boxes may be ordered through Nov. 17, and can be picked up between 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Nov. 24 at Pershing Community Center. Call 573.329.2455 for details.
  • The annual tree-lighting ceremony starts at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Joint Services Park. A socially-distanced Santa will be on hand for photos.
  • Trees for Troops will return this year with appointment slots available to allow for social distancing. Check FMWR social media for more information on this in the coming weeks.
ICE

Mike Vail, director of the Garrison Plans, Analysis and Integration Office, spoke on the importance of providing feedback via the Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, system.

“Here on Fort Leonard Wood, it covers a majority of our services,” he said. “We need to know what to sustain — what are we doing right and who are the people going out of their way to help you — and we need information on things to change to support the needs of the community.”

Click here to provide feedback.

“You, our community, are the driving force behind positive change,” Vail added. “Not just here, but across the Army. We need your help.”

AAFES

Beth Pritchard, Fort Leonard Wood Exchange general manager, said it’s important to have a list of items needed to “manage your life for a three- to five-day period.”

When the weather forecast predicts snow in the coming days, Pritchard said to go get those items before the inclement weather arrives.

“Don’t wait until it actually starts snowing,” she said.

However, Pritchard added that AAFES facilities here are open for two hours beyond the final early release time to ensure everyone can purchase any last-minute necessities.

Pritchard also listed some upcoming events, including:

  • A Veterans Day sale with door-buster specials starting at 9 a.m. at the Main Exchange.
  • Black Friday deals are featured every week through Nov. 24.
  • The Main Exchange opens at 8 a.m. on Nov. 26 — Black Friday — with door-buster specials and a $1,000 gift card giveaway.
Commissary

Edgar Edelman, assistant Commissary store director, said the Fort Leonard Wood Commissary can remain open up to two hours beyond the final early release time to ensure customers have everything they need when winter weather arrives.

Edelman also mentioned an upcoming door-buster sale on produce from Nov. 19 to 24, offering significant savings on potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and fresh cranberries.

Other announcements

The USO Transitions Office will support transitioning service members and their spouses virtually after Nov. 19. Click here for more information.

The Transition Assistance Program offers in-person classes, including their Boots to Business class, which is next offered Monday and Tuesday in Bldg. 470. Click here for more information.

The American Red Cross is always looking for volunteers. Click here for more information.

The Veterinary Treatment Facility is hosting a pet wellness clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Appointments and walk-ins are available, but pets must be registered with the VTF. Call 573.596.0094 for more information or to schedule an appointment. The VTF is open to service members and retirees.

January’s forum

There will be no Community Information Forum in December. The next forum is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 5. To view more information on the slides from this or previous events, click here.

Fort Leonard Wood community members may submit topics of interest or issues they feel should be addressed through the Community Information Forum via the Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, website.